ASIA/PAKISTAN - Prayer and solidarity: mobilization of the Catholic community to help families affected by the floods in Sindh

Tuesday, 13 September 2022 solidarity   natural disasters   prayer  

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - "The people affected by the heavy rains in the province of Sindh find themselves in a terrible situation: many live in the open air, without food to eat, without homes, without a kitchen and without sanitary facilities. For the moment, they can only wait for help from institutions and people of goodwill. The floods have destroyed their homes and crops and hundreds of animals have drowned. Now there are also medical problems. People are lying on the streets and waiting for help: our response is made of prayer, human closeness and solidarity", says to Fides Sister Elizabeth Niamat FC, who led the delegation of St. Joseph's Convent School in Karachi to provide humanitarian aid to families affected by the floods which in the past two months have covered a third of Pakistani territory and affected 33 million people (see Fides, 29/8/2022 and 9/9/2022). The Catholic nun, accompanied by 20 team members including volunteers and students, met 200 families from Sujawal village in Thatta and 50 families from Badin village, delivering food and tents to them. Sr. Elizabeth reports: "In addition to food parcels, we distributed towels, sheets, blankets, medicine and hygiene kits to the women. We also set up a medical camp and provided medicines to women and children who were dehydrated or had health problems. And we gave so much consolation human comfort".
Several associations, movements and parish groups of the Catholic community of Karachi, capital of the province of Sindh, have mobilized to come to the aid of the people affected by the floods in the devastated villages of the province. Among the agencies that promoted humanitarian relief programs, Caritas Karachi assisted 100 disaster-affected vulnerable families in Kund Jhang in Malir district of Karachi. Mansha Noor, executive secretary of Caritas Karachi, told Fides: "We are trying to reach as many people as possible with food parcels and shelter kits. We are helping more than 100 families, in particular 30 families whose homes were devastated".
Samantha Rodrigues, president of the Catholic Women's Guild (SWG), told Fides: "We have seen the destruction with great sadness. In the interior regions of Sindh, the situation is worse than we thought. We call on people of goodwill to be more generous in this difficult time and to show solidarity with those in need. CWG is helping 75 Hindu and Muslim families in Tando Allah Yar, by providing food parcels but also tents, camping kits, etc. hygiene, clothes.
Capuchin friar Shahzad Khokhar organized with his parish of Tando Adam, in Sindh, the distribution of food bags to 100 families in the region and, thanks to the generosity of the St. Mary's Convent High School in Hyderabad and the faithful, also handed over an offering of 50,000 Pakistani rupees to seven particularly needy families.
Fr. Khokhar tells Fides: "We ask people to express their closeness through prayer and concrete solidarity. Many people in the area of my parish live on the streets, they are displaced, homeless and without crops or livestock. As Christians, we want them to feel the concrete love of Jesus that touches every human being, especially when he suffers". (PA/AG) (Agenzia Fides, 13/9/2022)